Pennsylvania’s Sunshine Solar Grant Program, commonly referred to as PA Sunshine, is still active, however, it has run into delays. The grant program has provided for over $100 million in rebates to residents and business owners across the state to help install solar energy and solar hot water systems.
On June 26, an email (which was later recalled) was sent from the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection’s (DEP) Sunshine program to PA Sunshine contractors indicating that the program is accepting grants on a waiting list only basis, and that DEP is not guaranteeing these grants.
Currently, DEP has over $3.4 million in rebate applications on the waiting list. PennFuture has learned that the program’s waiting list is currently being assessed to see how many projects on that list can be moved to the reservation list, which will be guaranteed for rebate. After PA Sunshine has all the guaranteed reservations, it then requests that the Commonwealth Financing Authority (CFA) distribute checks out of the PA Sunshine fund.
As with any state bureaucracy, this process can take time. This process will also be dependent on funds available to CFA and potentially new bond issuances. If all those on the waiting list can be moved to the reservation list and guaranteed for rebate, the PA Sunshine program may open up another waiting list round.
In addition to the $3.4 million on the existing waiting list, it seems that PA Sunshine has existing authority to issue roughly $1.5 million in addition rebates. However, administrative, procedural, and budgetary issues will impact the release of these funds.
The PennFuture Energy Center will keep you informed as PA Sunshine chugs along.